- Brew Quality (50%)7.8/10
- Design (15%)8.9/10
- Ease of Use (35%)8.8/10
- Brew Quality (50%)7.2/10
- Design (15%)8.9/10
- Ease of Use (35%)9.2/10
The Takeya cold brew coffee maker and the Coffee Gator are two slender jug type brewers that can stand in a refrigerator door. The Coffee Gator is the smaller brewer with a base diameter of 3.9 inches and the Takeya is 4.3 inches. The Coffee Gator, however, weighs considerably more because the jug is made of glass. The Takeya is made in the USA from high-grade Tritan plastic.
A key difference between the two brewers is the brew quality. The Takeya produces a much stronger and better quality brew due in part to the design of its filter. Takeya, with its unique screw-in filter, recommends shaking the vessel during brewing and you can also brew with the jug on its side on a shelf.
Even with its filter removed, the Coffee Gator is not spill-proof if laid on its side. The lid, like the Takeya, is a handy twist-to-pour design. The Coffee Gator comes with a stainless steel measuring spoon and a silicone filter for pouring in grounds and water. If you have limited space in your door, and you like the look of the Coffee Gator, it’s not a bad choice.
- Bouquet (10%)8.5/10
- Drinkability (70%)8.0/10
- Sediment (20%)7.0/10
- Bouquet (10%)7.0/10
- Drinkability (70%)7.0/10
- Sediment (20%)8.0/10
The Takeya cold brew coffee maker produced a moderately strong bouquet and one of the better ones we’ve sampled. Crisper and sweeter notes were present, but somewhat subdued. Earthy notes, with acidic overtones, tended to be more prominent.
The bouquet of the coffee gator was of a slightly medium strength. We detected a mild roasted note, as well as a definite woodiness. There was a slight hint of caramel. This suggested that the extraction was either average or a little under par.
We diluted the Takeya concentrate 1:1 with filtered water. While the Takeya had a complex flavor profile, it was more medium-bodied. Deep earthy or chocolatey flavors came through the most with a strong roasted flavor. A tinge of sweetness made for a light aftertaste and overall it was smooth and enjoyable to drink. Adding cream to the water dilution resulted in a more finished taste.
The Coffee Gator produced a mild to medium strength brew. It had a dominant roasted flavor, but no real complexity. The aftertaste had a very slight sourness with a watery finish. It’s a nice enough brew especially if you prefer a little sweetness added. We don’t recommend diluting it, but the addition of a little milk or mixed as a smoothie or protein drink would work fine. You may want to brew for longer than 18 hours.
With repeated testing, we found that the Takeya has a tendency to produce quite a bit of sediment depending on how you handle it. You have to screw the filter tightly into the lid, and avoid shaking too vigorously. Though you can technically brew with the Takeya on its side, it’s probably best to brew standing up. We allowed the concentrate to settle, decanted into another container, and discarded the sediment left behind.
After decanting the brew, there was a moderate amount of fine granular sediment remaining. This was typical for the type of brewer and filter, or as good as one could expect. If you prefer, you can decant the brew a second time, but there is no grittiness to the final drink.
- Stopper / Lid (30%)10/10
- Filter (40%)8.0/10
- Build Quality (30%)9.0/10
- Stopper / Lid (30%)10/10
- Filter (40%)8.0/10
- Build Quality (30%)9.0/10
In the ‘Box’
- Assembled brew decanter
- Inlay leaflet
- User guide
The Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker comes fully assembled. Both the inlay leaflet and the user guide are placed in the brew decanter. The User Guide has a product description, brewing instructions, five suggested drink recipes, and a 1-Year Limited Warranty notification.
- Box WDH: 7 x 5.1 x 12.2 inches
- Borosilicate glass jug brewer
- Stainless steel measuring spoon
- Silicone funnel
- Instruction and message card
Our first impressions of the Coffee Gator cold brew setup were very positive. The carafe has a solid look and feel, the black and white design is very catchy, and it’s not heavy to lift. The stainless steel spoon is something you won’t get with other brewers, and the silicone funnel for pouring in grounds was very thoughtful.
We liked the personalized message card and instruction card too. The box had a seal saying ‘This product is not dishwasher safe’. The box also says if you register for a Platinum Membership, you get an additional year’s warranty, priority access to new products, discount codes, and coffee masterclass brew videos. They have full social media profiles and you can view their videos on Youtube.
- Heightwith Stopper Lid:12.2 in (310 mm)
- Base Diameter:4.3 x 3.7 in oblong (110 x 95 mm)
- Width:5.9 in (150 mm)
- Weight:12.0 oz (340 g)
- Material:BPA-free Tritan plastic
The Takeya has a slightly oblong base which tapers up to a round top. It therefore tends to fit most refrigerator doors. The brew decanter has a screw-on frame with a handle and a screwable lid that also attaches to the filter. The high-quality Tritan plastic looks very clean and is also stain, odor, and shatter resistant. The decanter is made in the USA while the filter is made in China.
- Heightwith Stopper Lid:10.2 in (260 mm)
- Base Diameter:3.9 in (100 mm)
- Width:6.7 in (170 mm)
- Weight:19.3 oz (547 g)
- Material:borosilicate glass
The decanter is of excellent quality and the glass is quite thick, but not heavy. The full capacity is 1.2 liters. The plastic neck handle screws on tightly and the only fault is the handle. It’s a little short and uncomfortable while the grip is not so secure.
Stopper / Lid
- Diameter:6.3 in with handle (160 mm)
- Material:Tritan plastic
- Additional Features:silicone gasket
We tested the decanter vessel and were happy to find it did not leak. The product is very secure and tight. The lid partially unscrews for pouring, and then further unscrews to remove completely. The container can also hold hot liquids, but you should not fully seal the lid while still hot.
- Diameter:4.3 in (110 mm)
- Material:BPA-free plastic
- Additional Features:2 white silicone gaskets
We loved the design of the Coffee Gator lid. It’s made of clear see-through plastic with a silicone gasket around the inner rim. It fits very neatly into the hole of the screw-on handle rim. The rim handle has an additional silicone gasket for proper air-tight sealing. If you turn the lid slightly to one side, the spout opens up to pour.
The lid design is very practical, however, it’s practically identical to that of the Coffee Bear. Upon reaching out, we confirmed that there is no relationship between the two coffee brands.
- Length:0.4 in (265 mm)
- Diameter:2.7 in (70 mm)
- Material:nylon & polypropylene
- Additional Features:detachable extender
A key feature of the Takeya cold coffee brewer seems to be the full-length filter that maximizes contact with grounds. The grounds fill the filter and go part way up into the extender.
It comes in two parts, and the upper extender detaches for easy cleaning, which seems to be its key function. However, we found it a bit cumbersome to attach the extender to the filter. The filter is a porous nylon polyester and allows for a relatively good brew to develop. A filter replacement is also available as a separate purchase.
- Length:7.8 in (200 mm)
- Diameter:2.5 in (65 mm)
- Material:White plastic & nylon mesh
- Additional Features:Detachable base
We loved the refreshing white design of the filter, and how it clips securely into the rim. The base of the filter unscrews and comes off for cleaning. Since the brew ratio is only 1:14, and the filter had a fair amount of solid plastic, we wondered how well it would actually brew. The mesh filter seemed porous enough on first inspection.
9The Tritan plastic brew decanter is a high-class piece of equipment and the airtight screw top is well-designed. The long filter, however, requires more effort for cleaning. The way the filter assembles is also a little cumbersome. Additionally, the sediment test shows that the filter is not so effective if you’re careless when putting it together or if you shake the vessel too vigorously. While overall of good quality, there are more parts than we’d prefer.
The overall build quality is really good. The carafe is solid and the lid an excellent design. On the downside, the handle lacks a solid grip and feels uncomfortable. The silicone gaskets seem good quality, and the stainless steel measuring spoon and silicone funnel add excellent value to the product.
Ease of Use
- Brewing (45%)8.5/10
- Decanting (35%)9.5/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)8.0/10
- Brewing (45%)9.5/10
- Decanting (35%)9.0/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)9.0/10
The Takeya cold brew coffee maker doesn’t require any gradual wetting of the grounds. Just put 170g of grounds in the filter (it should come to 2 inches from the extender rim) and you’re ready to go.
Then, you screw on the lid and immerse it into the pitcher with 7 cups of cold water. If you prefer metric, that’s roughly 1,680 ml — about an inch from the top of the vessel.
After inserting the filter with the grounds, we shook the container and let it sit for 10 minutes. The brewer was shaken thoroughly once again before going into the refrigerator on its side. We shook the container periodically another four times over the 18 hours of brewing. This device therefore takes a little more attention than other methods, but overall it’s quite straightforward.
A key selling point for this brewer is its airtight seal. This means coffee odors will not contaminate your refrigerator while brewing. There is also less oxidative stress, so you can store your coffee longer.
The addition of the silicone funnel and the measuring spoon made brewing practically effortless. The recommended amount of grounds is 75 g or 2.6 oz, however, we put in eight spoons to top off some of the space. One level spoon is 11 g, so the total weight was 88 g or 3.1 oz.
The silicone funnel was also perfect for pouring water around the edges so the flow was more gentle and gradual. If you pour too fast, liquid and grounds will move up the funnel, so be careful when you take the funnel out. You can use a teaspoon to push any grounds around the edges into the filter. The lid also made for a perfect air-tight fit.
Decanting the Takeya simply means unscrewing the lid and taking out the attached filter. Next, unscrew the filter from the lid and then screw the air-tight lid back onto the pitcher.In this sense, it’s one of the most convenient immersion brewer designs.
After removing the filter, the manufacturer recommends you place it in a tall glass for 45 min to catch remaining concentrate. You should also clean the lid of any grounds before screwing it back onto the decanter. These tips are only found on the product homepage.
As pointed out, if you fail to attach the filter extender securely, or shake the vessel too vigorously, you may have to decant the contents a second time.
When you need to decant some coffee to drink, partially unscrew the lid to align the gap to the spout. It’s safe to pick up the container by the lid handle because the lid ring remains securely attached.
Like any immersion filter brew, decanting was effortless. All you need to do is pop off the lid and carefully twist loose the neck ring. We detached the filter immediately and left it to rest in a jar to collect the last few drips. After rinsing the screw-on neck ring, we immediately resealed the carafe to protect the flavor and aroma. We returned the brew to the refrigerator to await our brew score testing.
Cleaning and Storage
In total, the Takeya separates into seven cleanable parts. The online instructions state that all parts, including the filter, are dishwasher safe. We presume, however, that it would be better to not put the rubber gasket for the screwable lid into the dishwasher. For hand washing, it’s very easy to reach inside the brew vessel.
The filter itself is quite long, and was difficult to clean without a bottle brush. Without proper cleaning, over time coffee oils can clog the fine holes and produce a stale smell. For deep cleaning, you should soak in a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar.
Cleaning was not as straightforward as it seemed like it should be. The handle has a nice silicone sleeve for comfortable gripping. It took a little effort to remove that for cleaning and to replace it again.
Storage is easy enough because all parts screw together and you are unlikely to misplace any parts if you reassemble properly. Replacement filters can also be purchased online.
To clean the filter, you need to rinse out the grounds and then gently clean with a bottle brush and a small amount of liquid soap. We noticed a fair amount of coffee oil that required soap for cleaning. Also, the filter lost its pearly white appeal after the first brew. However, you can see the residue oil to wash off more easily than with a black-colored filter.
The carafe itself also cleans easily. We had no problem getting our hands inside, but larger hands may be a problem. You can put the glass carafe in a dishwasher, but Coffee Gator recommends hand washing.